By: Denery Noone, Scott Brock-Wilson, and Justin Lynch
Here are our predictions for the Southwest division, which had every team make the playoffs last year!
Click on the past divisions to view them:
East: Atlantic, Central, Southeast
Houston Rockets: 54.5
Denery: OVER: The addition of Ty Lawson was the thing they needed. I knocked them at the beginning of the offseason for not making any additions in free agency after getting swept last year in the Western Conference Finals. Everyone knows what Harden and Howard are going to do, but the addition of Lawson, along with the return of Beverly, and the depth that they have will push them over 55 wins.
Scott: OVER: BEST BET: They won 56 last year with Howard missing half the season, Beverly missing over 25, Motiejunas missing some games, and Smith only playing 55. Plus they added Lawson. I don’t see why they can’t repeat what they accomplished last year. expect Harden to be right up there for the MVP once again.
Lynch: OVER: Howard, D-Mo, and Beverley are all healthy. They added Lawson as well. This team has regular season juggernaut written all over it.
Memphis Grizzlies: 50.5
Denery:UNDER: Gasol and Randolph are getting older. People are finally realizing that Jeff Green is not good. Mike Conley is a good point guard, but he is not good enough to lead this team far. The West is really deep this year, and I think that the Grizzlies are past their prime.
Scott: OVER: The Griz didn’t lose much this (sorry Koufos, Wright is better), so I cannot see them losing 5 more games than last year. They are older yes, and we are all waiting for the year the Grizzlies aren’t good, but this won’t be it.
Lynch: UNDER: One of the toughest to pick in the league. They have to hit a wall at some point, and with a rejuvenated OKC and San Antonio, as well as an enhanced LAC and Houston, I see this team dropping into 47-50 win range. Allen and Z-Bo are old and they might just not be able to churn out regular season wins like we’re used to. However, no one wants to see them in the postseason.
San Antonio Spurs: 58.5
Denery: UNDER: The Spurs are great, but they are not a regular season team. The addition of Aldridge is going to be huge, but they know that the regular season does not matter, they will be saving themselves for the playoffs.
Scott: UNDER: Yes, the Spurs are loaded, but Popovich will preserve his players for the playoff. Expect them to rest their players when they can. The Spurs can easily win over 60 games, but they won’t want to.
Lynch: OVER: Pop won’t put the same limit restrictions on Danny Green, Kawhi, and LaMarcus as he does his old big three. This team is really, really good and now knows the importance of home court in the playoffs. Remember, 55 wins last year was a down year, and they added LaMarcus.
Dallas Mavericks: 38.5
Denery:UNDER: The loss of Deandre in the offseason is going to really hurt this team. They did add Wes Matthews, but will he be the same player after the achillies injury? Probably not. Most likely, he will not be as explosive as he was in the past, and even before the injury, he was not good enough to lead a team. Dirk is getting way too old, and Parsons is good but not good enough. It is going to be a tough year for the Mavs.
Scott: UNDER: This is a tough call. If Nowitzki, Matthews, and Parsons, play up to their potential, the Mavs can be easily get 39 wins. But, the team is older and has no rim protection without Chandler or Wright. The Mavs will struggle, but will be right around 37-39 wins.
Lynch: UNDER: This team will end up around 38 wins, but I simply see more potential in teams like Phoenix and Utah than this Dallas team. Of course, those teams could disappoint, and the Mavs could try to backdoor into the eighth seed, but I’ll sleep better without anything riding on Deron Williams.
New Orleans Pelicans: 47.5
Denery: OVER: Anthony Davis is an absolute freak. Tyreke Evans just had microscopic knee surgery, but he will be fine. Davis is going to carry this team and they will accomplish some very good things this year.
Scott: OVER: BEST BET: Davis will carry this team far. He is a beast night in and night out. He will just keep getting better, therefore, the Pelicans will too.
Lynch: OVER: Lot of question marks around this team, but as we’ve said before, don’t pick/root/do anything against Anthony Davis. He might be the league’s MVP this year, and that offense will be cooking with gas when Jrue Holiday is in uniform.